Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine

of Case Western Reserve University

Academics > Curriculum


An innovative curriculum

First, view our philosophy about the curriculum and then take an PDFin-depth look at the five-year curriculum.
  • Teaching methods focus on interactive learning and applying knowledge through problem-based learning (PBL), seminars, problem sets, electronic-based curriculum and labs. Formal lectures are few and discouraged.
  • The intergraded research curriculum extends throughout the five years and includes hands-on research experience during the first two summers of school and for the 12-month research thesis project.
  • The basic science curriculum is organ system-based, with traditional disciplines including anatomy/ histology, pathology, pharmacology, cell biology, physiology, immunology, infectious disease, oncology, bioethics,healthcare systems, bioinformatics and genetics woven through every course. Evidence-based medicine is taught throughout the five years.
  • Clinical experiences are integrated throughout the curriculum beginning early in year 1.
  • Students are expected to attend and participate in all curriculum activities as part of their professional responsibility.
  • A strong commitment has been made to our Humanities in Medicine program, which is an innovative and unique method of teaching students to become skillful and professional physicians. 
  • During the last three years of the program, CCLCM students take their core clerkship at the Cleveland Clinic and can take clinical electives any of the teaching hospitals in Cleveland affiliated with CWRU. In addition to core clerkship experiences, Cleveland Clinic provides advanced clinical electives, typically taken in year 4, for all CWRU medical students. More than 55 elective rotations in specialty areas are available to CWRU students and other medical students around the country, as available.
  • Interprofessional education, or IPE, is all about preparing healthcare students to work together for the benefit of the patient. In today’s healthcare landscape, caring for patients is a team sport. An average hospital patient interacts with dozens of healthcare professionals. Doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers and other professionals work side by side to provide quality, coordinated care. Thus, when students from various healthcare disciplines learn together, they are better able to work together in the future.
Hear what our faculty have to say about the curriculum.